DMA Door Drop Review – Part 2

by Graham Dodd on 16/08/2019

In our April door drop volume blog, we revealed an average just exceeding 6 items a week had been received in the first 3 months of 2019.

We also predicted that when the DMA published its annual volume statistics in the summer (now available through us if you would like a copy), for the first time in many, many years their weekly average would fall below 4 items per week – and that’s exactly what has happened.

We are now publishing our 6 month volume review, where our result is just under 6 items per week, so once again at odds with the industry report.

Why is that?

To be fair to the DMA, they can only work on statistics available to them through members (not all of whom even submit their statistics), but membership of the DMA is tiny compared to the number of distribution companies across the UK.

So, for as long as I can ever remember, the disclosed volumes are also modelled to take into account non-member distribution, but in my opinion are always under estimated.

The DMA statistics in the last 5 years have dropped from 4.45 per week in 2014 to 3.78 in 2018

Royal Mail door to door are rightly regarded and recognised as the industry’s largest final mile supplier and over that period, most experienced practitioners would agree that a Royal Mail D2D weekly average is 2 or 3 items, which really means the modelled statistics only add one other item per week to be delivered by the rest of the industry, members and non-members.

Compare that to our statistical averages.

Royal Mail over the first 6 months of this year have averaged just 1.5 items per week, meaning team/walker activity on a shared or solus basis average just over 4 items per week?

48% of that local activity is “retail” and a large majority of that are takeaways where individual volumes may not be huge, but they are regular in their small patches of coverage (commonly defined by drive time).

I don’t think Cheshunt will be hugely different to many other towns and cities in that respect and yes, some of the companies may well drop their own leaflets, but the facts are they are still door drop items landing on doormats every week of the year.

Learnings from the rest of the analysis?

In addition to solus/shared distributions dropping 48% retail items, a further 26% is from local businesses such as mini cab companies, slimming organisations, local tradesmen etc. Charity bags add a further 21%, with the remaining 5% all political items in May!

In contrast, 60% of Royal Mail’s items are direct response and 38% retail, with one public sector item making up the balance (no political items?).

Local and regional distribution companies could well be thriving in difficult times.

So does that create opportunities for the larger suppliers?

Possibly, but in our experience, the lead times and minimum order values/volumes of the larger operators, show that most of them are not really interested in these smaller scale activities.

That does worry me to some degree, with some ridiculously low team rates in the market place, generating concerns about whether full distribution can be achieved.

This article was written by...

– who has written 66 posts on Letterbox Consultancy for Door Drop Marketing.

Graham Dodd is the founder of The Letterbox Consultancy - he has over 40 years of experience in the door drop industry and remains at the forefront of innovation in the business.

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